Your comments: 1 June 2016

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A special patient

I wanted to tell you about a remarkable patient who has changed the lives of many people.
Ruth Rudd has attended pulmonary rehabilitation at Manchester Royal Infirmary for eight years. She is our expert patient and assists the staff with running the group on a voluntary basis. She is always on-hand to demonstrate breathing techniques and encourage new patients. Ruth, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has been on long-term oxygen for 10 years. Four years ago she decided to come off the lung transplant list due to the risks associated with such major surgery. She has refused to give in, and exercises every day. Her exercise capacity improved to such an extent that she runs on our treadmill without desaturating. After many appointments at the oxygen clinic, she only uses oxygen when really exerting herself.
I’ve never heard of another patient with COPD on long-term oxygen who has improved their exercise capacity to this extent. On 22 May Ruth completed the Great Manchester 10km run in one hour 40 minutes. Occupational therapist Merryn Turner (on the left in the photo) and I (on the right) carried the oxygen between us. Pulmonary rehabilitation really works.
  • Amy Shaw, specialist physiotherapist 

Calling all managers

Every manager who is responsible for recruiting physiotherapy staff should complete the current CSP survey at It is the only source of evidence of UK-wide data about the extent of vacancies and recruitment problems.  
The CSP urgently needs this evidence to support its lobbying and campaigning work, including making the case for increasing student training numbers.  Clear guidance on the CSP website explains the funded establishment and vacancy data you will need to have to hand before starting the survey, which should take only about 15 minutes to complete. The closing date has been extended to 10 June.
  • Ann Ross, chair of LaMPS (the CSP professional network for leaders and managers of physiotherapy services) 

A lonely world

Thank you for running the piece on mental health in the workplace (page 30, 4 May). I am really grateful for you bringing this to the attention of CSP members.  
I too suffer mental health problems that were re-triggered by work-related incidents. It can be a very lonely world in physiotherapy. Support from line management was non-existent. 
According to TimetoChange 90 per cent of those with mental health conditions experience stigma. I haven’t declared my problems to my team or line manager, based on stigmatising comments they had made about colleagues, or even patients.  
As physiotherapists, we are no more exempt from getting mental health problems than we are from breaking our leg or getting a virus. Look at the causes of mental health problems and the pressures of the services in which we work. We are all human. 
My mental health problems do not make me incompetent.  But everyone needs a little extra support on occasion, whether due to a diagnosed condition or not.  
  • Member’s name withheld on request
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